Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 September 2014

Extradition move as fugitive rapist is held in Dublin

Edward Connors

The PSNI are seeking an extradition warrant for a teenage fugitive rapist convicted of a sex attack in Belfast after he was apprehended in Dublin.

Edward Connors — who once described himself as “a monster” — was arrested by gardai in the Ballyfermot area of the city on Wednesday evening.

According to the PSNI a move will be made to seek Connors’ return to Northern Ireland.

Connors had been on the run from police after he breached his probation conditions and failed to attend court.

A warrant was then issued for his arrest.

The 19-year-old was serving a sentence for a rape in west Belfast in 2008.

Yesterday the Garda said officers had recognised the offender and detained him in Dublin.

It is understood Connors was arrested at around 10pm at a house in the city.

Yesterday he appeared in court in Dublin charged with a breach of the Sex Offenders Act in the Republic — failing to notify the authorities of his name and address.

Appearing in court, Connors was remanded in custody until August 1st.

No application was made for bail at the hearing and he was granted legal aid.

A spokesman for the PSNI said they would now be seeking an extradition warrant to return Connors to Northern Ireland but refused to speculate on a possible timeframe or the details of the transfer between forces.

Earlier this week police said they believed Connors had fled to Dublin.

Yesterday a PSNI spokesman said: “Police can confirm that Mr Edward Connors was arrested by our colleagues in An Garda Siochana in Dublin.

“He was arrested for failing to comply with section 10 of the Sexual Offenders Act 2001 to notify his name and address to An Garda Siochana. PSNI will be seeking an extradition warrant.”

After an initial appeal police released an image of the rapist last week in order to help catch the fugitive.

Connors was jailed for the rape of American tourist Winnie Li (26), at Colin Glen Forest in 2008.

After attacking Ms Li, Connors fled to Dublin, but returned voluntarily. He was given an eight-year sentence with a further two years’ probation imposed.

She waived her right to anonymity to speak of her ordeal last year and said after her attack “wasn’t able to piece together the word rape”.

“I was just like, that was a really weird incident because I was in the middle of this park in the middle of the day,” she said.

Story so far

Edward Connors was just 15 when he carried out a double rape on a tourist, 26-year-old Winnie Li, at Colin Glen Forest in west Belfast in 2008. He was given an eight-year jail sentence. A warrant was issued for his arrest after he failed to appear at Belfast Magistrates Court on July 16. Police subsequently launched an appeal to find Connors — releasing an image of the fugitive to help track him down.

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